Thursday, May 21, 2009

General Canine Vaccinations

General Canine Vaccinations

It is important for every dog to have a regular veterinarian and regular yearly check-ups and vaccinations.  All dog will need these regular vaccinations to participate in any obedience class or before attending the dog park...
         ...Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenze, Parvo
2) Bordatella
3) Corona
4) Rabies

Distemper is a viral disease that is highly contagious.  Distemper can be fatal.  Symptoms include lack of coordination, seizures, and uncontrolled twitching.

Hepatitis is a virus that is highly contagious.  It is spread by contact with infected saliva, stool, or urine. Symptoms include discharge from the nose, eyes, and mouth, red eyes, and fever.

Leptospirosis is spread through contaminated urine.  It is a bacterial disease that can cause kidney, liver, and digestive tract damage, and is often fatal.  Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, red eyes, vomiting, abdominal pain, a brown coat on the tongue, and ulcers in the mouth.

Parainfluenza, more commonly known as "Kennel Cough," is a highly contagious viral disease, caused by several different viruses.  Symptoms include a dry cough and nasal discharge.

There are two kinds of Parvo:  1) Enteric (diarrhea form), 2) Myocardial (cardiac form).  Canine Parvovirus is a viral disease.  Parvo attacks a dog's cells like lymph nodes, bone marrow, and the gastrointestinal lining.  It can affect the heart of young puppies.
1) Enteric Parvo symptoms include appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.  This virus must be treated quickly or it can be fatal.
2) Myocardial Parvo can cause sudden death in puppies.  A puppy who does recover from Myocardial Parvo may develop heart problems that could lead to a shortened life span.

Bordatella is a non life-threatening form of Parainfluenza, however it is very dangerous to young puppies.  Symptoms are a dry, hacking cough and some nasal discharge.

Corona can affect dogs of all ages.  This contagious viral infection is spread by fecal and oral secretions.  This disease is also very dangerous to young puppies.  Symptoms include diarrhea (usually orange-yellow colored and foul smelling) and loss of appetite.   This disease can be fatal.

Rabies is a virus that affects the central nervous system of a dog's brain, and is often fatal.  There are two forms of rabies.  Paralytic Rabies may appears as only minor changes in a dog's behavior, weakness and poor coordination, before paralysis sets in.  Furious Rabies is noticed by extreme behavior changes like aggressive and attack behavior.   Although we do vaccinate our dogs against Rabies, if you have ANY inclination that your dog has come in contact with a rabid animal, take them to the vet immediately!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Breed of the Month--German Shepherd

German Shepherd Dog

Color:  Black, reddish-tan, tan, gold to light gray markings, solid black, solid gray,
(white is not accepted by the AKC)
Height:  Males:  23.5-26 inches/  Females:  21.5-24 inches
Weight:  Males:  66-88 lbs/  Females:  48.5-70.5 lbs
Life Span:  10-14 years

Breed health concerns:  Allergies, bloat, elbow dysplasia, Cushing's syndrome, epilepsy, glycogen storage disease, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Coat:  Medium-length double coat with dense, straight, harsh, outer coat and thick undercoat.
Country of Origin:  Germany

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

One of the most recognized breeds in the world is the German Shepherd Dog and is well known for its adaptability, intelligence, and trainability.  The "father of the breed" was Rittmeister Max von Stephanitz.  Von Stephanitz promoted German Shepherds in the German Shepherd Dogs club (founded in April 1899), from 1899-1935.  He encouraged the breed's use in the military and for police during World War I.

Today the German Shepherd dog severs in many ways including:  police work, army work, search and rescue, scent discrimination, and as guide and assistance dogs.  German Shepherds are very loyal dogs, intelligent, and brave.  Shepherds are great with children of all ages and instinctually tuned into their people family members.  This is one of my favorite breeds.

German Shepherds are very energetic and intelligent dogs that require daily vigorous exercise.  Shepherds must be mentally and physically challenged each and every day to remain healthy and happy.

The Shepherd requires regular brushing to keep its dense undercoat under control.  The Shepherd is a heavy seasonal shedder.  It is not recommended to bath Shepherds too often because it will deplete the essential oils of the skin and coat.

Shepherds thrive on training.  Shepherds have been used as service and police dogs for many years.  They also excel in sports like herding, agility, and obedience.  Shepherds are very quick learners and appreciate people that keep them challenged.

Monday, May 11, 2009



This term tends to be thrown in your face a lot if you're a dog owner.  Everyone from breeders, rescue personnel, and veterinarians will tell you to socialize your dog.  This is very true, proper socialization is vitally important to raising a well balanced, well mannered dog.  The problem is that many people are confused by the term.

Proper Socialization:  Is teaching a dog to not react to stimuli by desensitizing him to every day things.

This means the more experiences your dog has in a good, positive way, they less they will react to things that are unfamiliar with them.  All of these experiences should be introduced at a pace the dog is comfortable with.  Do not force a scared dog, let him take his time and become comfortable with the situation at his own pace.  A dog (and especially a puppy) should always appear happy and relaxed during socialization.

Another way of thinking about proper socialization is to literally desensitize your dog to regular sounds and occurrences.  Things like cars, skate boards, and bikes.  Also people who are different:  short, tall, wearing a hat or glasses, etc.

Improperly socialized dogs tend to be over-reactive or shy.  They withdraw from people and sometimes flinch or freeze.  Many improperly socialized dogs suffer from anxiety.  Poor socialization can also lead to aggression.